The Court of Appeals on Monday denied the appeal of the family of Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. to return to them the 57-hectare property in the municipality of Paoay, Ilocos Norte province, including the popular tourist destination—Grand Ilocandia Resort.
In a three-page resolution, the CA’s Former Third Division dismissed the motion for reconsideration of its ruling issued on September 26, 2013, which granted the petition filed by the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) and the Philippine Tourism Authority (PTA) seeking the dismissal of the unlawful detainer complaint filed by the Marcos estate, represented by the senator as its special co-administrator.
The Applellate Court said the Regional Trial Court of Ilocos and the Municipal Circuit Trial Court (MCTC) of Paoay-Currimao, which both ruled in favor of the Marcoses, have no jurisdiction to rule on the unlawful detainer case since the case has been brought before the Sandiganbayan.
“We therefore find no valid reason to disturb our earlier decision. The respondent estate’s motion contains merely a reiteration or rehash of arguments already submitted to and determined to be without merit by the Court,” the CA said.
“We are not convinced that a modification of the latter is warranted,” it added.
Associate Justices Rebecca de Guia-Salvador and Samue Gaerlan concurred with the ruling.
The Marcos family, in its motion for reconsideration, argued that the CA erred when it held that the case they initiated was not merely an unlawful detainer action but a claim of possession based on an assertion of ownership.
The CA said the MCTC has no jurisdiction over issues of ownership of the parcels of land. It stated that the validity of the 1978 lease agreement was an issue arising from an ill-gotten wealth case filed by the PCGG before the Sandiganbayan.
In the complaint filed on May 2, 2007 with Paoay-Currimao MCTC, the Marcoses claimed that the late President Ferdinand Marcos Sr. was the owner of various parcels of land where “Malacañang Ti Amianan,” Maharlika Hall, Suba Sports Complex as well as an 18- hole golf course have been erected.
The parcels comprised an aggregate area 576,787 square meters or approximately 57 hectares.